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February 12, 2010

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Growth Spurt=Ground Hog Day

I remember reading a twin blog from 2 Girls and Their Family from the first two weeks and they were all “hey, this isn’t so bad!” and then right after that…it got really bad.

Yeah, I could write a post sort of like that.

The first two weeks were pretty smooth sailing. They were good, good babies. Everyone said so.
When we first came home, my mom stayed with us for a little over a week which was about 7 days longer than she was actually useful. When you have someone come to help you, make sure that person is a nurturing person who is actually helpful. Not just someone who is there to ‘hold babies’. Because seriously? That is not very helpful with ALL of the other things we had going on. I had tried to tell Chicken it wasn’t going to be all wine and roses with my mom and finally, after 9 years, Chicken saw what I was talking about with my mother. She did not attempt to take care of me at all, nor was she willing to run the vast array of errands that needed to be done. Anything that we needed her to help with, like laundry or food shopping or just feeding the cats, we had to ask for. Over and over and over. And every time, she acted extremely put out, because, I guess she was here JUST to hold babies.
Her stay here, while I recovered from major surgery and tried to establish breast feeding with newborn twins, just reminded me of how selfish she can be and how she never took care of me when I was growing up and as the days wore on, I became increasingly angry with her.
What does it say about me that I can’t stand the sound of my own mother’s voice?

After my mom left, things actually got better. Chicken and I were able to be ourselves again and bitch freely about my mother instead of seething and whispering about it behind closed doors. We got into the groove and had ourselves a nice little routine going on. The house was clean, errands were being run, we were able to shower, the laundry was clean and folded, we were getting out of the house (her more than me) on a daily basis, fancy cappuccinos were made every morning (only a sip for me) I was pooping and we were even getting some sleep. Good times. We’ve got this mommy thing down and are puffed up and feeling pretty damn proud of ourselves.
Many of our visitors remark how laid back and calm I seem and indeed, I feel this way. This isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. We are lucky!

And then this last Tuesday, they hit a growth spurt. Tandem feeding, a life saver for establishing a routine and getting any kind of sleep, went out of window. I was feeding on demand around the clock and Whoop Whoop was getting increasingly agitated.

I have noticed in twins, that you often have a fusspot and a non fusspot. It took me a little while, but when I mentioned to Chicken how high maintenance Whoop Whoop was, she looked at me a little bit like I was crazy. “You’re just now realizing this? I figured that out the first day they brought them down to us in their bassinets.” “Really? Hmm. I was on a lot of drugs. I just thought ‘oh, babies!’ “

Grunter is a happy, calm, laid back kid. Except for the bark. When he wants something he has a barking way of going about it. He doesn’t cry. He BARKS. And for that we have affectionately dubbed him “Max, the incredible barking baby”. He also conducts invisible orchestras from his boppy pillow if we don’t swaddle him up. He does all of these things with the sweetest, crazed looks on his face, so the barking is just adorable because he’s so laid back about it all. He’s a funny little baby and he cracks me up all day.

This is helpful, because his brother is making us both a little crazy in the past couple of days. He doesn’t bark, he simply cries. Loudly. And yesterday, he cried almost the entire day and there was little we could do to console him. We tried everything, holding him, swaddling him, unswaddling him, kangaroo care, Moby wrap, bouncy seat, rocking, shushing, white noise machine, walking around. You name it. If it calmed him down at all, it was temporary and then out of no where his face would scrunch up and he would BLOW.
He has been having some gas issues, the guy is Farty McFarterson and so we’ve also tried Gripe Water.
Again, nothing seemed to be working.
Chicken had to run to the drugstore yesterday afternoon and that was when I lost it.
By the time she came home, which was only 45 minutes later, I was a pool of tears holding two babies and trying my best not to completely break down.
For the rest of the evening, we would switch back and forth between who was crying and who was trying to be brave and strong for the other party.
There was a point around midnight, when we hadn’t had any sleep for way too long when I was absolutely convinced I could.not.do.this and had another break down.
Chicken then went out at midnight to get Mylicon drops for the gas as the gripe water didn’t seem to be doing anything for the poor guy. He would work himself up so much he couldn’t focus on anything, his face would turn beet red and then finally…we’d hear him fart. He must be in so much pain. I can’t stand it.

To make matters worse, we had introduced him to a pacifier a few days ago during one of our attempts to soothe him when nothing else was working. And he LOVED it.
But then…yesterday, he refused to breast feed on my left breast and was having a bit of trouble that he’d never had on the right. All day long I fed on command and he would NOT take the left breast. Finally around 2am, I got him latched on the left. We have since done a lot more reading on the pacifier issue and have taken it away. We ‘thought’ we had breast feeding ‘clearly established’ and that was enough, but upon more research, they say not to give a pacifier until after 6 weeks if you are breast feeding as it can cause a lot of problems. So, I’m pretty certain the paci was the culprit as he’d been feeding fine before this introduction.

Now it’s morning…we survived the night. They finally went to sleep at some point during the night and were both up and ready to feed at 5am. I put Whoop Whoop to the left breast and after a minute or so he was latched and feeding, so I’m going to put that down as a good way to start the day. They’re both swaddled back up now, with no fuss in their cribs and I’m pumping.
When I’m done, I’ll go back and try to nap until they wake up and then we do it all over again…and again…and again.
That’s the part that feels like Ground Hog Day (you know, the movie?).

I know this is the worst part and right now we are just in survival mode. I know this will all get better. I know this. But in the heat of the moment, it is intense and overwhelming.
We love these two little guys with every thing we’ve got and it’s all worth it, but DAMN. This is the hardest thing we’ve ever done.